Qatar Railway Company (Qatar Rail) has received commercial offers this week for the contract to operate and maintain the first phase of the Doha Metro and Lusail tramway networks.

The technical submissions closed a month earlier.

Qatar Rail has said it aims to award the operator contract for both schemes before end of 2017.

Six groups, all comprising multinational companies, were prequalified for the contract in early 2016. They include:

  • MTR Corporation (Hong Kong)
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) (Japan) / West Japan Railway Company (JR West) / Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan)
  • Serco (UK)
  • Transdev (France)
  • RATP Dev (France) / Keolis (France)
  • Arriva (UK) / DB International (Germany)

Some of the prequalified firms currently operate a number of rail infrastructure and other assets in the GCC.

The UK’s Serco operates the Dubai Metro, tram and the Palm monorail, while a subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Bahn formed a joint venture with Etihad Rail to operate the UAE railway.

Serco Group along with Network Rail Consulting and Freightliner Group, also of the UK, will operate the passenger line of the North-South railway (NSR) in Saudi Arabia following the award in February 2015 of a five-year, $185m deal to provide technical support for the railway’s passenger operations.

Construction work on the Doha Metro and Lusail tram are expected to be completed between 2018 and 2019, with commercial operations expected to begin in 2020, two years prior to the staging of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Doha.